Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen


Saint Anything
Author: Sarah Dessen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 417
Released: 5th May 2015
Publisher: Viking

My Rating:


Peyton, Sydnwp-1481631420611.pngey’s charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion’s share of their parents’ attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton’s increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.


This is my first ever Sarah Dessen book like it seemed to be for everyone too. It’s probably the most hyped of her books so I figured this was the best one to use to get acquainted with the author. I’ll break down my review into pros and cons because it’s easier to gather my thoughts that way:

The Good

  • Great Writing: Saint Anything had solid writing but I wasn’t expecting anything less from such an experienced author.
  • Very Relatable Protagonist: I loved the fact that I could see a little bit of myself in Sydney. It made reading this very satisfying.
  • Wholesome Side Characters: Each character was really well developed and I loved how they all interacted with each other. It captured teenage voice realistically in my opinion.
  • Friendship is a huge theme in this book and it isn’t overshadowed by the boy and girl romantic relationships. I really appreciate a good girl on girl friendship done right.

The Bad

  • Sarah Dessen shot and missed on the emotional aspect of the book. Now this is just my opinion but this book was trying to get the reader emotionally invested in Sydney’s situation but there was just something I couldn’t seem to connect to. I can’t tell if it’s Sydney herself or the entire story as a whole.
  • Slow pacing. I get it’s ya contemporary, I’m not expecting explosions or mysterious deaths but I expected more. More drama I guess, especially between the Payton and Sydney.
  • Unrelatable parents: I just said I appreciated the friendship aspect of the books but the parental relationship just didn’t make sense to me but I think that was the whole point of the story. (?)

Overall good writing. I recommend to anyone looking for a simple satisfying read.


2 thoughts on “Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

  1. I read Saint Anything earlier this year and it was my first Sarah Dessen book. I thought it was only meh for me I think I also gave it 3 stars or maybe 2.5, I agree that the pacing was slow, the middle felt a bit sloggy.


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